Chapter 888 – This Is a Divine Edict
Translated by: Hypersheeep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Prince of Xiang gazed at the distant platform, a cold glint flashing in his eyes.
The Wu clan head and the Mutuo clan's Old Lady were still calm, as if they had heard nothing.
Gou Hanshi slightly shook his head to Bai Cai, urging him to keep calm.
The Vice Principal of Scholartree Manor arched his brows, an expression of surprise appearing on his face.
People like them had long expected the Li Palace to object to the closing of South Stream Temple, and Chen Changsheng to stand and speak.
Those two martial grandaunts of South Stream Temple had just been too agitated and did not have a deep understanding of Chen Changsheng, so they had not thought about this.
But since South Stream Temple's will was united, what could he do?
Chen Changsheng's method was extremely simple.
No one asked him, so he asked himself and answered.
His answer was one word.
This sight made Tang Thirty-Six recall the mahjong game he had played in the old estate, and he could help but feel somewhat emotional.
At the time, the Tang Old Master had said he could kill Tang Thirty-Six, and Chen Changsheng had similarly said one word.
Then and now, Chen Changsheng's voice was very soft, but it was louder than the simultaneous shouts of a crowd of thousands, like thunder crashing down from the high heavens.
Because he was the Pope, his every word a divine edict that would be carried out by millions of the faithful.
"They will not go to the Orthodox Academy or the Li Palace."
Chen Changsheng pointed at the kneeling disciples and said, "Because South Stream Temple will not close, and this is the place where they will and cultivate."
At these unflinching words, Huai Bi furiously spat back, "This a matter of my South Stream Temple. I request that Your Holiness the Pope not presumptuously involve yourself in them."
No matter the time, Huai Ren's expression remained forever serene and warm, even when it seemed the matter of closing the temple had been decided. She had also expected Chen Changsheng to stand up, but she had not expected for Chen Changsheng's stance to be so direct, even crude.
"Your Holiness the Pope, my words to Your Holiness last night were out of respect, but it did not mean that the affairs of South Stream Temple require Your Holiness's assent."
Huai Ren's expression turned solemn as she spoke, her voice still gentle, but her stance unwavering.
Holy Maiden Peak had originated from a schism in the Orthodoxy.
From the moment the first Holy Maiden established South Stream Temple, the Li Palace lost all authority over the Daoist faith in the south, much less the affairs of South Stream Temple.
Even the Pope had no right to involve themselves in the matters of Holy Maiden Peak.
This was history, a history that everyone had to respect.
Many of the southern cultivators repeatedly nodded in agreement with Huai Ren's words, and even Gou Hanshi found it a rather thorny problem that he wondered how Chen Changsheng would resolve.
At this moment, another person stood up, one that no one expected.
The Vice Principal of Scholartree Manor smiled and said, "Senior's words are incorrect. Senior has been traveling for the past years, caring little for the affairs of the world, and presumably does not know of the relationship between His Holiness the Pope and the Holy Maiden, but who in the continent does not know of it? This Holy Maiden Peak can be said to be half his, so how can His Holiness avoid the affairs of the temple?"
These words caused the Prince of Xiang to frown, the Old Lady of the Mutuo clan to smile, and the Wu clan head to repeatedly nod. The other cultivators, on the other hand, had very strange expressions.
Putting aside that engagement that shook the continent, the battle on the Bridge of Helplessness was enough to start a rumor that Chen Changsheng's love for Xu Yourong had been rekindled and that he was attempting to reestablish the engagement. The common people might have still thought that this was a one-sided love on Chen Changsheng's part, but then at the Boiling Stone Summit in Mount Han, many people were witness to Xu Yourong's saving Chen Changsheng from Guan Bai's sword, and the ensuing journey from Mount Han to the capital had been spread far and wide by now. If not for the coup of the Mausoleum of Books that happened right afterward, the entire continent would have probably been discussing the romance of Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong for a whole two years. At present, who didn't know that Pope Chen Changsheng and Holy Maiden Xu Yourong shared a mutual affection and were essentially a match made in heaven?
This somewhat frivolous comment from the Vice Principal of Scholartree Manor made Huai Bi so angry that her face went red. Her eyebrows shot straight up as she yelled, "Impudent! Anyone who dares to sully the Holy Maiden's good reputation will have to ask my sword!"
The chatter on the plateau gradually grew softer.
Huai Bi gripped her Dao sword and harshly said to Chen Changsheng, "Your Holiness the Pope, do you truly want to force this old self to drench this place in blood?"
Chen Changsheng asked back, "Are you threatening me?"
Even the Prince of Xiang, an expert of the Divine Domain and one of the most powerful people in the court, would have to come up to him to pay respects, not daring to show the slightest disrespect in front of so many people, let alone threaten him. Although she was an extremely senior martial grandaunt of South Stream Temple, could she possibly be so bold?
Huai Bi was indignant, but she could not strike. Her sword buzzed with a deep resentment as sword intent gushed out from her sheath and hewed thousands of marks onto the stones surrounding her.
In her sorrow and rage, she had almost suffered internal injuries. Huai Shu quickly hurried over to support, transmitting to Huai Bi a pure strand of true essence to protect her Dao heart.
Huai Ren looked into Chen Changsheng's eyes and said, "The demons have retreated for now and South Stream Temple desires to close the temple. We only want to remain uninvolved and not be used by some ambitious people. Once the Holy Maiden leaves her seclusion, she can open the temple at any time. Is there anything inappropriate about this old body's actions?"
"I did not have the time to respond to Your Reverence's words from last night. My answer is 'no'."
Chen Changsheng looked at her and said, "Even if you've agreed to close the temple, my answer is still 'no'. Matters of the temple and closing the temple are two different things. Yourong passed the matters of the temple to you all to temporarily handle, but that does not mean that any of you have the right to decide on something as significant as closing the temple. None of the disciples of South Stream Temple have this right."
He then looked at Huai Ren and Ping Xuan, and said, "This naturally includes you."
Huai Bi sneered, "Then who has the right? Could it be Your Holiness the Pope?"
Chen Changsheng replied, "No, I also don't have this right. The only person with the right to decide if the temple closes is Yourong."
The Prince of Xiang, who had said nothing this entire time, suddenly said, "Your Holiness speaks reason. For such a major event, we truly should invite the Holy Maiden out of seclusion to make the final decision."
Chen Changsheng suddenly felt a hint of wariness.
Yesterday in front of the stone wall at the summit of Holy Maiden Peak, he had vaguely sensed a problem, and it now seemed that this problem was gradually taking shape.
Could it be that the Imperial Court and his master wanted to use this matter to force Xu Yourong out of her seclusion?
Everyone knew that forcefully ending one's seclusion could cause one terrible harm, and this was coupled with the fact that she was attempting something that had never been done before.
"There's no need. I will handle this matter."
Chen Changsheng did not give the Prince of Xiang a chance to stir any further trouble on this topic. He looked to Huai Ren and said, "I well understand just how important Holy Maiden Peak is to her. She is currently in seclusion and cannot continue to care for Holy Maiden Peak and the disciples that live here in the way she promised her teacher, so this matter naturally comes to me to handle."
Xu Yourong's secluded cultivation was in large part for his sake, so he naturally should bear her responsibilities, like protecting this peak.
Huai Ren harshly asked, "Could it be that the laws of my Holy Maiden Peak must also be decided by Your Holiness?"
Chen Changsheng answered, "The Holy Maiden comprehends the monoliths; the Pope comprehends the laws. Such has been the case for countless years, or does Your Reverence believe that Holy Maiden Peak is not part of the Orthodoxy?"
Earlier, Huai Ren had attempted to use history and rules to make him yield, and now that he was using history and rules, she had no other choice but to accept his reasoning.
Although Holy Maiden Peak belonged to the southern faction, to the millions of believers and disciples, it was still a part of the Orthodoxy.
Let alone these three martial grandaunts, even if all the Holy Maidens throughout history were revived, they would not dare deny this point.
Huai Ren fell silent, no longer speaking.
Seeing her senior sister in such a state, Huai Bi grew even more anxious and yelled, "At the very least, we are not subordinate to the Li Palace, so why should we accept your rule?"
The thought of the venerable Daoist's promise made her too anxious. She had even forgotten to properly address Chen Changsheng.
Chen Changsheng looked at her and said, "I am the Pope, and I comprehend the laws of the church. Could it be that Holy Maiden Peak is not a part of the Orthodoxy?"
It was the same question, but with its repetition, it seemed even more unyielding.
The pressure of the situation destabilized Huai Bi's Dao heart. In her extreme irritation, she shouted, "Even if it's not, so what?"
Chen Changsheng stared into her eyes and said, "If Holy Maiden Peak is not a part of the Orthodoxy, what right does it have to comprehend the Heavenly Tome Monoliths? Tomorrow, I will announce this matter to the world, and then send the Orthodoxy cavalry to surround Holy Maiden Peak and remove the rubbings of the Heavenly Tome Monoliths, severing South Stream Temple's lineage and letting you know what it truly means to close the temple."
Huai Ren recalled the conversation from last night, and her expression suddenly changed.
She had said to Chen Changsheng that there were three kinds of 'closing the temple' in South Stream Temple.
The one Chen Changsheng spoke of was naturally the last one.
South Stream Temple would have its lineage severed, unite with the Li Palace, and return to the tradition of the Orthodoxy!
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